Nestled in between my lofty dreams and goals is a little, cold stash of reality.  If you are like me, your notepads and daydreams are filled with places you want to see, people you would love to meet, experiences you want to have.  But the harsh truth is time and money is limited.

So what is the next best thing?

Reinventing your plans to suit your circumstances?  (How pragmatic is that?)

A little escape to Malaysia with the family may or may not be in my future, but bread baking sure is.  I came across these buns on Su-yin’s tasty blog, Bread et Butter.  This London resident, originally from Penang, shared a post on some coffee and matcha ‘Mexican’ buns.

I had never heard of these strangely named buns before.  Intrigued, I immediately investigated these (apparently very popular in Malaysia) buns further.  Apparently they have been made famous by a Penang based company called Rotiboy.

It is not every day you have a friend who can do a bit of a recce for you.  My friend Emma is currently living in Penang with her husband for the next 3 years.  (Well, make that 2 ½ more years.)

It seemed not even 24 hours past after a quick email exchange (asking if she had heard of these buns), when I received an MMS complete with close up images from the store in question.  Big snaps for Emma.

Motivated more than ever, I pressed on to make a batch in my little Brisbane kitchen.  But what recipe?  I decided to adapt a recipe from Chef Alex Goh, which appeared in a Malaysian food magazine, flavours.

It seemed fated.

The best bit about this bun, is it uses a gelatinised dough method (water roux starter).  There really is nothing to it, and it truly does produce an unrivalled softness.

If you have never used this method of bread making before, I urge you to try.  Soon!

In my research, there seemed no clear consensus on why these are called Mexican buns.  But my guess is because the technique and topping is similar to the famous Mexican bun, Conchas Blancas.  (But if anyone does know how they got the name, please let me know!)

{ Pandan ‘Rotiboy’ Mexican Buns } Adapted from Alex Goh

* Ingredients *

Gelatinised dough
100g bread flour
70ml boiling water

Bread dough
300g bread flour
100g plain flour
80g sugar
20g milk powder
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
175g cold water
60g cold egg
60g cold butter, cubed

125g butter
125g icing sugar
1 egg
240g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon milk powder
1/8 teaspoon pandan paste

* Directions *
To make the gelatinised dough, add the boiling water into the flour and mix until well-blended to form dough. (I did this in a food processor.)  Refrigerate for at least 12 hours.   The next day, add the flour, sugar, milk powder, yeast and salt to a mixing bowl.  Tear the gelatinised dough into pieces and add to the bowl along with the egg.  Using a mixer with a dough hook, mix on low adding the cold water gradually.  Mix until the dough is well combined and leaves the sides of the bowl.  Add in the butter and mix to combine.  Then mix until smooth and elastic.  Remove the dough and shape into a ball.  Put into a bowl, and cover with plastic.  Leave to proof for 40 minutes, until doubled.  To prepare the topping, cream butter and sugar until smooth then mix in egg. Add the four and milk powder and pandan paste, and mix until well incorporated. Preheat the oven to 190C.  To prepare the buns, divide the dough into 50g portions and mould into round balls.  Arrange on baking pan and leave to rest for 10 minutes.  Place the topping into a piping bag.  Pipe the topping in a spiral pattern onto the buns starting from the top and finishing about half way down the side of the dough.  Proof for a further 20-30 minutes and then bake for 12-15 minutes.  Best when eaten warm.

Makes 18-20 buns


:: Yeastspotting ::

I am submitting these Pandan ‘Rotiboy’ Mexican Buns to Yeastspotting.